To forge a reputation at a club is no mean feat.
It involves a mixture of loyalty, hard work and success. To combine all three and forever etch your name into the history of the club means a legacy. A legacy can live on for time immemorial – but can also be delicate, with one simple action erasing it.
The names of Pat Rice and Stewart Houston have left their mark on Arsenal – on different levels. Stewart Houston was former manager George Graham’s right hand man during his time at Arsenal. That means he had a part to play in the near-flawless season of 1990-91, our Cup double of 93 and our surprise Cup-Winners Cup triumph in 1994.
Pat Rice spent nearly his entire playing career at Arsenal – which would be enough alone to cement his legacy. But his entire coaching career was also spent at Highbury and later, The Emirates. That is nearly his entire lifetime, bar his childhood, with the Gunners. That means he stands shoulder to shoulder with the greatest names involved with the club.
And both were recently let go from our scouting lineup.
As part of the shakeup behind the scenes at Arsenal that saw Raul Sanllehi depart the club and Vinai Vekatesham, Arteta and Edu assume more responsibility, Houston and Rice departed the scene too, their services no longer required. It is understood more dependency on data will form a larger part of our recruitment in the future, so a wide scouting network is no longer the method used primarily for acquiring targets.
Rice and Houston may well be departing, but their reputation will still precede them. Their finest moments for us are still In our memories. It is just a little unfortunate that another tie to our glorious past is undone so we can march forward. As long as we continue to uphold our traditions though, the likes of Pat Rice and Stewart Houston can know they contributed to our great club.